History 2301-SA01 – United States History to 1877
18 July 2011
Pre and Post Reconstruction Period – Politics, Economic and Social Effects
This research paper is intended to explain in general terms some of the political, economics and social effects America dealt with during the Pre and Post Reconstruction Period.
During the last years of the Civil War, as Union forces moved closer to victory and millions of former slaves became free, Americans began to think about how to reconcile the splintered parts of the nation and were immediately faced with a series of complex questions that required some resolutions. Some issues raised were: a) How would the former states of the Confederacy be integrated back
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Many northern politicians and industrialists supported President Johnson’s endeavors. While President Johnson's policies ensured that most of the southern land confiscated during the war was returned to its former owners, many northern entrepreneurs quickly bought up other large landholding in the South. In the hope of reviving southern economies, federal bureaucrats helped to provide the necessary labor force; in areas occupied by the Union army, soldiers limited the mobility of blacks, forcing them to return to plantation work. The Freedmen's Bureau also joined these efforts by negotiating labor contracts. Some of the new policies and the allowance of the elite to return back into politics enabled the enactment of a series of ‘Black Codes’ designed to strip blacks of their citizenship rights. Furthermore, the so-called ‘Black Codes,’ issued by southern governments in the rapid Reconstruction period, legally bound blacks to plantations under conditions much like slavery (Franklin 48-50). Therefore, a new era emerged called the “Radical Reconstruction”. Under Radical Reconstruction, a new cadre of Southern Republicans intent on reform emerged. These leaders enacted sweeping legislation to create a system of public education, a democratic state and local governments and make state governments more responsible for the social welfare of